Remember the Abominable Snow Monster from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” Well, the Humble Bumble gets reinvented as an adorable young Yeti in the new film from Dreamworks Animation, “Abominable.”
Set in China, we first meet Yi (Chloe Bennet) as she’s really missing her Dad. He died recently and she handles her grief by retreating to a little hideout/shrine she’s constructed on her apartment building’s rooftop. She’s also distanced herself from Mom (Michelle Wong) and Grandma Nai Nai (Tsai Chin).
Meanwhile, across town, Burnish (Eddie Izzard) plans to unveil a trapped Yeti (Joseph Izzo) to the world with the help of conservationist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson). Previously mocked by other adventurers when he tells them about sighting the mythical creatures, he craves vindication. But said Yeti breaks out of the facility before the great reveal and takes refuge on Yi’s roof.
When Yi discovers him, she calls him Everest, after his Himalayan home, which he recognizes from a Shanghai billboard. She’s determined to get Everest home along the route she and her father had always planned to travel together.
Chloe Bennet as Yi in "Abominable" (Dreamworks)
Her unwitting companions are Yi’s friends from the apartment complex, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai). Jin thinks he’s too hip and cool to be hanging out with childhood friends and Peng, his basketball-obsessed little cousin, is like the younger sibling who just wants to hang out with the older kids but is rarely welcome. This oddball group of kids and Yeti makes for many chuckles and laugh-out-loud moments.
Kids helping creatures escape the clutches of greedy adults isn’t a new idea (“E.T.” anyone?) but “Abominable” weaves a story of loss, love, family, and friendship that bursts with color, music, and the wonderments of nature – with a touch of magic thrown into the mix.
Especially relevant for young people of today is the power of remembrance that flows through “Abominable.” Yi remembers her father to amazing effect, Everest remembers his family, and Jin remembers that old friendships can be rekindled to the benefit of all involved. In an era of social media and digital connections, the love and belonging that grows from real-world relationships can never be forgotten or underestimated.